x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE Attorney General warns against 'unfair rumours'

Investigations are under way into members of a 'foreign-linked group' who have been arrested, the Attorney General has said.

ABU DHABI // Investigations are under way into members of a "foreign-linked group" who have been arrested, the Attorney General said last night.

"Initial investigations and confessions of the suspects revealed plans which jeopardise the security of the state, as well as ties between the organisation's members and suspicious foreign parties and organisations," said Ali Salim Al Tenaji.

He warned against "false news reports and unfair rumours" spread to influence the investigations, Wam, the state news agency, reported.

Amnesty International said on July 31 that about 35 men had been detained since July 16, bringing the number arrested since March to 50.

Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, told a local television channel last week the arrests were necessary to protect the state.

"It is a matter of dealing with the situation, not a matter of punishment," he said. "We have a big duty to protect this country … to every mother whose son was held, I tell her … please let us fix the situation … the son made a mistake, you didn't deal with it, let us do it."

The results of the investigations will be made public when complete, the Attorney General said.

* Additional reporting by Reuters and Agence France-Presse